Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘Ihamriga rules’ of the English study of the Dasarupaka of Dhananjaya: an important work on Hindu dramaturgy (Natya-shastra) from the tenth century dealing with the ten divisions of Sanskrit drama (nata), describing their technical aspects and essential dramaturgical principals. These ten types of drama are categorised based on the plot (vastu), hero (neta) and sentiment (rasa)

Part 3-6 - Īhāmṛga rules

Rules of the Nāṭyaśāstra–

1) According to the Nāṭyaśāstra (XX.78-80), in the Īhāmṛga, the hero should be immortal or divine and a war should occur because of the divine (divya) woman. The plot should be well composed and there should be distrust.

2) There should be haughty male characters and the plot should consist of the anger of a woman. There should also be the agitation, flight and encounter.

3) The Īhāmṛga should be constructed properly with the kidnapping, betraying and harassing of the woman and overall sentiment should be erotic (śṛṅgāra).

4) The plot should consist of the hero, style and the sentiments as in the Vyāyoga. The only difference is that there will be a divine female character in the Īhāmṛga.

5) In the case of the danger for the hero, the battle should be avoided by using any trick.

6) The Vyāyoga and the Īhāmṛga should be constructed with three Junctures. There should not be the development and the pause Junctures. The Īhāmṛga and the Vyāyoga should not use the gay style (kaiśikīvṛtti).

Rules of the Daśarūpaka–

1) According to the Daśarūpaka (III.72b-75), the plot of the Īhāmṛga should be a mixed one and there should be four acts and three Junctures.

2) The hero and the villain may be either human or divine beings; without any restriction. They should be well known, brave and haughty. At the end, the villain commits improper acts by mistake, “antyo (pratināyaka) viparyāsādayuktakṛt.”

3) There should be the reflection of the erotic (śṛṅgāra) sentiment; and the villains should try to get the divine woman against her will, either by kidnapping or by some other way.

4) The plot should avoid battle; however, it can betray hostility. The death of the renowned person, though occurring, should not be shown on the stage.

Difference between the Nāṭyaśāstra and those of the Daśarūpaka

1) Bharata does not describe the nature of the plot. However, Dhanañjaya states that the plot of the Īhāmṛga should be a mixed one.

2) Bharata does not mention the number of acts in the Īhāmṛga, whereas Dhanañjaya states that it should have four acts.

3) Bharata does not describe the nature of the villain of the story; whereas Dhanañjaya states that the villain should be well known, vehement and he may be divine or human being.

4) Bharata does not mention that the Īhāmṛga should contain the instance of love of the villain who kidnaps the divine woman against her will; whereas, Dhanañjaya states that one should present the resemblance of love on the part of the hero or villain who tries to obtain a divine woman against her will, by kidnapping her or by any such means. Bharata states that Ihāmṛga contains the sentiments, style and hero as in Vyāyoga, whereas Dhanañjaya is silent about it.

The application of the rule in the Drama

1) According to the rules of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the hero and heroine should be divine beings. In the Rukmiṇīharaṇa, of Vatsarāja, the hero is Kṛṣṇa and the heroine is Rukmiṇīand both are divine beings. Again, the rule stipulates that the plot should be well composed and well arranged and also there should be scenes of fight and distrusts because of the divine woman. The Rukmiṇīharaṇa, is well composed and well arranged by Vatsarāja. There are also scenes of fight between Śiśupāla and Kṛṣṇa, for the divine woman Rukmiṇī and the plot contains distrust.

2) Further, the Īhāmṛga should consist of haughty persons, anger of women, agitation, war, encounter and similar characteristics. The Rukmiṇīharaṇa, consist of haughty persons, such as Śiśupāla, Rukmi, Balarāma. Rukmiṇī was worried for the behavior of Śiśupāla and she did not agree to marry him, although she did not express her anger anywhere in the drama. However, she was terrified by the story of Śiśupāla’s birth. She was also agitated, when she came to know that she was supposed to marry Śiśupāla, against her will. Śiśupāla was forcing Rukmiṇī, to marry him; but she wanted to marry Kṛṣṇaand the dispute led to the war. The Rukmiṇīharaṇa has also employed saṃkṣobha, vidrava and saṃpheṭa, which are the causes of the anger, war, encounter and typhoon like incidents. The drama also contains scenes of Balarāma’s anger, encounter and war with Śiśupāla and Rukmīand the agitation of Śiśupāla, Rukmiṇīand Kṛṣṇa.

3) According to the rules of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the Īhāmṛga should contain kidnapping, betraying and harassing of women and the overall sentiment shall be erotic (śṛṅgāra) sentiment. Further, the drama should be well composed and the plot should be properly arranged. The Rukmiṇīharaṇa, is well composedand the plot is properly arranged and it consists of more than twenty characters. The story of the Rukmiṇīharaṇa, is very short and the language is very simple. As per the rules, the heroine Rukmiṇī is kidnapped by Kṛṣṇa. However, the Rukmiṇīharaṇa does not have erotic (śṛṅgāra) as main sentiment. Vatsarāja has employed heroic (vīra) sentiment, as the main sentiment and it looks like the overall sentiment in the Rukmiṇīharaṇa is heroic. Perhaps, Vatsarāja has accepted the rule of Dhanañjaya, that in the Īhāmṛga, there should be the reflection of erotic (śṛṅgāra) sentiment but it should not employ erotic (śṛṅgāra) as the main sentiment. The Rukmiṇīharaṇa also consists of scenes like war, fights, anger, which are the characteristics of heroic (vīra) sentiment.

4) Bharata, further, states that the Īhāmṛga is similar to Vyāyoga, in the case of hero, sentiment and style, but, it differs from the Vyāyoga in that it has divine woman as heroine. Both hero and villain (Kṛṣṇa and Śiśupāla respectively) and the plot are well known because they are taken from the epic, “Mahābhārata”. The Rukmiṇīharaṇa has used violent style (ārabhaṭīvṛtti), grand style (sāttvatīvṛti) and verbal style (bhāratīvṛtti), as it consists of the sentiments like heroic, furious, comic, terrible and marvellous.

5) According to the rule, the battle scenes should be avoided even if the hero is sought to be killed. In the Rukmiṇīharaṇa, Vatsarāja has avoided the war scenes, between Kṛṣṇa and Śiśupāla. Even though the villain Śiśupāla, is sought to be bashed up.

6) According to the rule, the Īhāmṛga should have three junctures as in the Vyāyoga. The Rukmiṇīharaṇa of Vatsarāja also contains three junctures, which shall be discussed later. Bharata rules that Īhāmṛga should consist of gay style (kaiśikīvṛti); however, Dhanañjaya is silent about the styleand the Rukmiṇīharaṇa has not employed the low gay style (kaiśikīvṛti).

7) Bharata does not mention the number of acts that the Īhāmṛga should contain; whereas Dhanañjaya states that Īhāmṛga should contain four acts. Accordingly, the Īhāmṛga of Vatsarāja consists of four acts.

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